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Mastering performance reviews

Performance reviews – a historically dreaded time in the office. Understanding how to take advantage of the review process and what personal and organizational improvements can be made will help both managers and employees alike to develop as an employee and contribute more to the company.

Meetings between manager and employee allows for the construction of individualized plans geared toward success. Not only do these conversations open a clear line of communication and transparency but they align company and employee goals and strategy. Setting goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) allows employees to prioritize their work in the coming months based on personal and company goals.

And while performance reviews provide managers and employees the chance to speak openly about position performance, no review should come as a surprise. Employees should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses beforehand allowing the time allotted for a performance review to be focused on goals to improve or further success. The categories that are being evaluated must be clearly outlined to establish a clear line of expectations.

After the performance review, managers should take the time to review their notes that were taken during the meeting. Rather than stuffing the file into a folder and storing until the next performance review comes up, taking the time to map out a timeline of the milestones that the employee must hit to be considered successful is important to continue departmental success. This practice will not only provide managers the ability to map out their expectations, but it will also provide an insight into practices within the office that may require more focus.

One-on-one reviews are great to establish relationships between managers and employees; however, creating a system that allows the department to anonymously submit general feedback and personal role evaluation allows the opportunity for staff to identify micro-level needs regarding professional development.

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